History Mystery No. 16

Jun 10, 2013

MysteryHistory_TrafficSignalWhere are we?

And what’s happening?

This photo was one of many taken to document the installation of new traffic signals in downtown Pasadena.

Unfortunately the year and specific intersection are not identified.

Here’s the best guess as to the date, according to Pasadena Public Library research staff:

This photo was taken for the Pasadena Water and Power Department (then called the Power Department), most likely to record the installation of new traffic signals. Although we can be certain that it was taken in Old Town Pasadena, the background is too blurry to suggest a definite location and date. However, one can reasonably use photo 5002 to establish a date for this photo. The two photos were clearly taken at the same time for the same purpose. Interestingly, photo 5002 also displays the same police officer so prominent in this photo.

And here’s photo #5002, at Colorado Street and Fair Oaks Avenue:

Mystery History II

The most recent traffic signal at the intersection of Madison Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard was installed in May 2011 as part of an ongoing citywide effort to enhance pedestrian safety.

There was a big celebration in the street that day, followed by practice in safe street-crossing for the students at Madison School, which is just around the corner.

Here are children learning about the inner workings of traffic signals that day. That’s Fred Dock, director of the Transportation Department, behind City Councilman Victor Gordo.

Gordo II

Learn more about pedestrian safety here.

Many thanks to Pasadena Public Library and Vannia De La Cuba.

Copyright © 2011 Ann Erdman

AnnErdman PicAnn Erdman is happily retired after decades of loyal service to the City of Pasadena as Public Information Officer. Her blog can be found at







Flintridge Books

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena